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Seat Yourself! New and Improved Fan and Donor Experience at the 2022 Red River Showdown

Red River Showdown Banner

Fans and donors at the Red River Showdown got a different experience this year. For the 2022 game at the Cotton Bowl, donors got to pick their seat locations for the first time.

What's the difference? The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma deployed the Ballena Seats3D and Seat Relocation Management System. That's right! The great rivals worked together and improved the fan experience with this new process.

It also gave donors transparency to see which exact seats were available during their appointment time, as assigned by rank.

Here is how they achieved it.

Working closely with Dallas Fair Park, OU, and Texas, Paciolan created a Seats3D Cotton Bowl model using a Lidar camera and 3D modeling software to create detailed virtual views across the stadium that includes specific information provided by both OU and Texas.

Upon completion of the 3D model, separate SRMS (Seat Relocation Management System) sites were created for Oklahoma and Texas, with custom functionality to meet the different business needs of each school. In addition, fans received messages from Eloqua automated emails and personalized marketing, notifying them of their appointment times and process instructions.

Fantastic Showing from Texas

  • 85% reach. 7,000 of 8,210 accounts logged in

  • More than 29K seats were allocated during the 6-week process.

Image of the Texas Stadium

Zoomed in view of a pick your own seat map

Seat level view of the Texas Stadium

We got a great response from our fans who loved the chance to look around and pick their own seats. It should also cut down on calls from people unhappy with their seats because they picked them! The most challenging part of the setup was getting Texas and Oklahoma to agree on how to do things.

Katie Cook, Longhorn Foundation

Oklahoma Fans Showed Up

  • 95%. 8,500 accounts logged into the site out of 8,900

  • 26K seats were allocated during the 4-week process.

Overhead view of the Texas stadium with the Oklahoma side highlighted

Selection your own seat view

Seat view of a field side seat

The response we received from our fans was extremely positive. The transparency that the seat selection process provided was a welcomed addition for our fans. It allowed them to choose from any available seat versus one of our staff guessing at what would best suit each fan. In years past, we often had many fans calling in wondering why they received the seats they did, but this year that was almost non-existent because of the ownership each fan had in the selection process.

McK Williams, Associate AD, University of Oklahoma

Infographic showing Ballena seats3D usage

If fans missed their appointment time, they were still able to get seats in the best area available for their donor ranking. At the end of each day, to honor the priority ranking, each school quickly allocated any fans who did not select their seats via the Ballena Admin Tool.

As a result, both schools improved the fan experience and gave much-needed time back to their staff to focus on other initiatives.

Never before has the Ballena product been utilized for a single game of this size. Thanks to the close partnership with OU and Texas, this initiative yielded massive success for all.

It was a pleasure to work with Oklahoma and Paciolan on set-up of Ballena seat selections for both schools loyal fans. The Cotton Bowl selection site looks terrific and provided fans with a transparent seating process only experienced with football season tickets. Online seat selections turned an all-hands-on-deck manual process into a systematic organized priority seating process allowing fans the opportunity to see in real-time their seating options. We are Looking forward to next year’s Red River Showdown seat selections and the opportunity to enhance annual giving using Ballena Seats3D technology.

Corbin Hunt, Associate AD, University of Texas

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